Shadow puppet performances have been a highly-refined and complex storytelling tradition in parts of Indonesia for hundreds of years.

Known as wayang kulit, these flat puppets are cut and punched from water buffalo hide and then colorfully painted, usually on both sides. Sticks or handles made from water buffalo horn or wood, attached to the base and limbs of each puppet, enable it to come to life in the hands of the dhalang, or puppeteer, who sits behind a cotton screen and manipulates the puppets while narrating a story.

This intimate exhibition in the Museum’s Theater Gallery will feature approximately 30 puppets, which depict the vast repertoire of heroes and heroines, demons and pranksters featured in the great Hindu epics, the Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa, as well as local gods and mythical subjects. Puppet performances provide entertainment, a sense of community, as well as an opportunity for sacred and secular instruction. Traditional performances are always accompanied by a gamelan, a musical ensemble comprised of gongs, drums, xylophones and stringed instruments.

 

Details

On View: Jul 19, 2017 - Mar 18, 2018

Curator: Christine Hietbrink

More Exhibitions

Exhibition

Kanban

Traditional Shop Signs of Japan

Created from wood, bamboo, iron, paper, fabric, gold leaf and lacquer, these unique objects are a rich fusion of art and commerce.

April 15, 2017 - October 8, 2017

Exhibition

Trappings

Homage to the Horse and Other Steeds

Featuring objects from around the globe that celebrate the speed, power and serviceability of the horse and other noble beasts of burden.

May 26, 2017 - November 12, 2017

Exhibition

Arline Fisch

One of a Kind

Featuring jewelry, body ornaments and a collection of knitted and crocheted wire hanging flowers and sea creatures by internationally-renowned artist, Arline Fisch.

June 17, 2017 - January 7, 2018

Exhibition

Art of the Americas

Pre-Columbian Art from Mingei's Collection

Part of the Getty Center-led initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, this exhibition offers the most comprehensive presentation to date of the Museum’s significant holdings of objects used by people from the ancient cultures of Mexico, Central and South America.

September 16, 2017 - February 18, 2018Opens soon